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Speaking of  Sin     Daily  Readings  for  the   Season  of  Lent     Calvary  Baptist  Church   Washington,  DC  


755 Eighth  Street  N.W.  ·∙    Washington,  DC    20001      ·∙      202.347.8355     

March 2014     Dear  Friends,     Throughout   more   than   two   millennia   of   Christianity,   great   writers   have   been  drawn  to  the  subjects   of  sin  and  Lent.   In  some   ways  they   are  two  sides  of  the  same  coin,  as  our  propensity  to  sin  requires  our   constant   re-­‐examination   of   self   and   repentance.   This   Lenten   season,   we  wanted  to  offer  you  some  of  the  best  of  the  meditations  on  these   ƚŽƉŝĐƐ ƐŽ ĐƌŝƚŝĐĂů ƚŽ ŽƵƌ ĨĂŝƚŚ͕ ĂŶĚ ƐŽ ŝŵƉŽƌƚĂŶƚ ƚŽ ƵƐ ĂƐ ͞ĂƐƚĞƌ WĞŽƉůĞ͘͟  The  words  are  not  mine,  nor  those  of  our  church  family,  but   should  seem  important  and  familiar  to  all  of  us.     These   thoughts   have   been   collected   from   the   Internet   and   other   sources.   We   encourage   you   in   every   case   to   read   more   about   the   authors   and   look   for   more   of   their   thoughts.   Our   intention   was   to   provide  sample  writings  as  an  introduction  to  their  work.       Jac  Whatley                  

755 Eighth Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001 y 202.347.8355 y

March 5   Ash  Wednesday   Ash  Wednesday  is  my  favorite  day  of  the  church  year  and  Lent  is  my   favorite  season.  Our  culture  has  quite  ruined  Christmas  and  Easter   with  Santa  and  the  Easter  bunny  and  all  the  grotesque  consumerism   and  made  for  TV  specials  behind  all  of  it.  But  oddly  nobody  waits  every   year  to  watch  the  Ash  Wednesday  Peanuts  Special.  There  are  no   Doorbuster  sales  at  4am  on  the  first  day  of  Lent.  There  are  no  big   garish  displays  in  the  middle  of  Cherry  Creek  Mall  with  mechanical   children  in  sack  cloth  and  ashes.  Nope.  We  get  this  one  all  to   ourselves.  Our  culture  has  no  idea  what  to  do  with  a  day  that   celebrates  the  fact  that  we  all  sin  and  are  going  to  die.  But  sin  is   strangely  enough  one  of  my  favorite  things  to  talk  about.  I  sometimes   ŐƌĞĞƚŵLJĨƌŝĞŶĚƐďLJƐĂLJŝŶŐ͞ŚĞůůŽƐŝŶŶĞƌ.͟  /ƚ͛ƐĂƚĞƌŵŽĨĚĞĞƉĂĨĨĞĐƚŝŽŶ͘   I  reclaim  the  word  sinner.    

Nadia Bolz  Webber  

March 6   Marked  by  Ashes   Ruler  of  the  Night,  Guarantor  of  the  day  .  .  .   This  dayͶa  gift  from  you.   This  dayͶlike  none  other  you  have  ever  given,  or  we  have  ever   received.   This  Wednesday  dazzles  us  with  gift  and  newness  and  possibility.   This  Wednesday  burdens  us  with  the  tasks  of  the  day,  for  we  are   already  halfway  home,   halfway  back  to  committees  and  memos,   halfway  back  to  calls  and  appointments,   halfway  on  to  next  Sunday,   halfway  back,  half  frazzled,  half  expectant,   half  turned  toward  you,  half  rather  not.    

This Wednesday  is  a  long  way  from  Ash  Wednesday,   but  all  our  Wednesdays  are  marked  by  ashes  Ͷ   we  begin  this  day  with  that  taste  of  ash  in  our  mouth:   of  failed  hope  and  broken  promises,   of  forgotten  children  and  frightened  women,   we  ourselves  are  ashes  to  ashes,  dust  to  dust;   we  can  taste  our  mortality  as  we  roll  the  ash  around  on  our  tongues.   2  

Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

We are  able  to  ponder  our  ashness  with   some  confidence,  only  because  our  every  Wednesday  of  ashes   anticipates  your  Easter  victory  over  that  dry,  flaky  taste  of  death.    

On this  Wednesday,  we  submit  our  ashen  way  to  you  Ͷ   you  Easter  parade  of  newness.   Before  the  sun  sets,  take  our  Wednesday  and  Easter  us,   Easter  us  to  joy  and  energy  and  courage  and  freedom;   Easter  us  that  we  may  be  fearless  for  your  truth.   Come  here  and  Easter  our  Wednesday  with   mercy  and  justice  and  peace  and  generosity.    

We pray  as  we  wait  for  the  Risen  One  who  comes  soon.    

Walter Bruggeman  

March 7   Lent  is  not  a  few  weeks  of  pointless  doom  and  gloom;  it  is  a  40-­‐day   retreat  where  sinners  can  find  peace  in  the  penitential  practices  and   heal  our  wounds.  After  Lent  we  are  recharged  members  of  the  Church   Militant  and  are  spiritually  prepared  to  storm  the  world,  the  trumpets   of  Easter  resounding  in  our  hearts.  Alleluia!  He  is  risen!    

But I  am  getting  ahead  of  myself.  The  main  focus  of  Lent  should  be  so   much  more  than  giving  up  a  few  vices,  like  chocolate  and  alcohol;  it's  a   time  of  interior  examination  of  our  sinful  natures.  This  ongoing   reflection  helps  us  to  recognize  where  in  our  lives  we  need  to  make   changes,  and  impels  us  to  rely  on  the  Lord  to  get  them  made.  We   should  turn  from  sin  all  year  long,  but  the  Lenten  season  is  the  one   specifically  designed  for  fasting  and  weeping.    

There is  a  growing  rejection  of  sin  in  modern  society.  Few  think  they   sin  at  all  or  believe  that  sin  will  directly  offend  God  and  severe  our   relationship  with  Him.  "Sin"  has  been  reduced  to  "problems"  that  can   be  fixed  by  medical  professionals,  psychologists  and  counselors.      

If sin  has  disappeared,  then  with  it  has  disappeared  forgiveness;  if   there  is  no  sin  then  what  need  do  we  have  of  being  forgiven?  Don't   worry,  be  happy?    

God wants  a  relationship  with  us;  he  seeks  us  out  and  wants  us  to  seek   him  in  return.  But  God  is  all  Truth.  How  do  we  approach  him  while   Lenten  Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


lying to  ourselves  about  what  sin  is  and  whether  we  even  commit   sins?    

To find  him  we  must  acknowledge  that  we  sin  and  embrace  the   resulting  guilt  born  of  sin,  because  the  truth  is  we  are  guilty.    

Lent is  a  beautiful  mortification  that  thrusts  us  toward  the  waiting  God   and  His  grace.  It  is  a  beautiful,  spiritually  raw  time  when  we  meet  his   truth  with  our  truth:  we  are  nothing  but  sinful  beings  in  dire  need  of   His  redemption  and  healing.      

Katrina Fernandez,  

March 8   A  Future  Not  Our  Own   It  helps  now  and  then  to  step  back  and  take  a  long  view.   The  Kingdom  is  not  only  beyond  our  efforts,   it  is  beyond  our  vision.    

We accomplish  in  our  lifetime  only  a  fraction   of  the  magnificent  enterprise  that  is  God's  work.   Nothing  we  do  is  complete,  which  is  another  way  of   saying  that  the  kingdom  always  lies  beyond  us.   No  statement  says  all  that  could  be  said.   No  prayer  fully  expresses  our  faith.  No  confession   brings  perfection,  no  pastoral  visit  brings  wholeness.   No  program  accomplishes  the  Church's  mission.   No  set  of  goals  and  objectives  include  everything.    

This is  what  we  are  about.  We  plant  the  seeds  that  one   day  will  grow.  We  water  the  seeds  already  planted   knowing  that  they  hold  future  promise.   We  lay  foundations  that  will  need  further  development.   We  provide  yeast  that  produces  effects   far  beyond  our  capabilities.    

We cannot  do  everything,  and  there  is  a  sense  of   liberation  in  realizing  this.   This  enables  us  to  do  something,  and  to  do  it  very  well.   It  may  be  incomplete,  but  it  is  a  beginning,   a  step  along  the  way,  an  opportunity  for  the  Lord's   4  

Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

grace to  enter  and  do  the  rest.   We  may  never  see  the  end  results,  but  that  is  the   difference  between  the  master  builder  and  the  worker.    

We are  workers,  not  master  builders,  ministers,  not   messiahs.  We  are  prophets  of  a  future  not  our  own.   From  Xavarian  Missionaries  in  memory  of  Oscar  Romero  

March 9  

First  Sunday  in  Lent   Genesis  2:15-­‐17;  3:1-­‐7   Psalm  32   Romans  5:12-­‐19   Matthew  4:1-­‐11  

March 10   Let  Your  God  Love  You   Be  silent.   Be  still.   Alone.   Empty   Before  your  God.   Say  nothing.   Ask  nothing.   Be  silent.   Be  still.   Let  your  God  look  upon  you.   That  is  all.   God  knows.  

God understands.   God  loves  you   With  an  enormous  love,   And  only  wants   To  look  upon  you   With  that  love.   Quiet.   Still.   Be.     Let  your  GodͶ   Love  you    

Edwina Gateley,  

March 11   We  have  begun  the  season  of  Lent.  Our  model  during  Lent  is  Jesus  in   the  desert  overcoming  temptation.  We  make  many  sacrifices  and  acts   of  self-­‐denial  during  Lent  and  we  fast.  We  want  to  pray  more  during   Lenten  Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


Lent and  donate  from  our  surplus  to  help  the  poor.  All  of  these  things   that  we  do  during  Lent  are  an  expression  of  something  inside   ourselves  that  we  want  to  do  during  Lent,  give  up  sin  by  overcoming   temptation.  In  other  words,  what  we  really  want  to  give  up  during   Lent  is  sin!  We  want  to  give  up  sin  because  it  destroys  us  and  only   drags  us  down  and  hurts  our  relationship  with  each  other  and  God.   We  want  to  give  up  sin  during  Lent  because  we  do  not  want  to  be   tricked  and  deceived  and  lied  to  by  temptation  any  more.  We  want  to   give  up  sin  during  Lent  because  temptations  conceal  from  us  the  true   road  to  wholeness  and  integrity  giving  us  instead  the  illusion  of  a  quick   and  easy  way  to  find  what  is  really  good  and  worthwhile  in  life.  We   want  to  give  up  sin  during  Lent  because  temptations  are  sneaky,   offering  us  what  appears  to  be  a  quick-­‐fix,  but  is  in  reality  a  quick-­‐ disaster.  We  want  to  give  up  sin  during  Lent  because  we  know  that   following  a  temptation  into  sin  is  irrational  and  has  no  sense.   Therefore  we  want  to  be  particularly  attentive  when  our  brain  power   is  lowered  e.g.  by  alcohol  or  when  we  are  tired  or  under  stress.    

Above all  we  want  to  give  up  sin  during  Lent  because  we  love  Jesus   and  when  we  give  in  to  temptation  and  sin  we  hurt  Jesus.  Every  time   we  sin  we  are  the  soldiers  scourging  Jesus  at  the  pillar  during  his   Passion.  Every  time  we  sin  we  are  giving  a  slap  to  Jesus.  Every  time  we   sin  we  put  a  crown  of  thorns  on  Jesus.  Every  time  we  sin  we  are  the   soldiers  driving  nails  into  his  hands  to  crucify  him.  We  love  Jesus  and   do  not  want  to  hurt  him  anymore  than  we  have  already  done.  This  is   why  we  want  to  give  up  sin.  Jesus  in  the  desert  overcame  temptation.   Because  we  love  Jesus  we  too  want  to  overcome  temptation  and  sin   during  the  desert  of  Lent.  By  dying  to  sin  during  Lent  may  we  rise  to   new  life  with  Jesus  at  Easter.    

Father Tommy  Lane,  

March 12   Sara  Miles  and  friend  carried  their  Ash  Wednesday  blessing  to  the   streets:   McDonalds  was  crowded  with  teenagers  and  fry  cooks  and  families   buying  cheap  fast  food,  and  people  reached  out  to  us  eagerly,  pulling   us  over.  A  Guatemalan  woman  unwrapped  her  tiny  baby,  who  she  told   me  was  a  week  and  a  half  old,  and  held  him  up.  I  crossed  his  forehead   6  

Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

with ashes,  and  took  a  deep  breath,  and  told  the  baby  he  was  going  to   die.  And  then  his  mother,  like  every  single  person  who  leaned  forward   to  receive  that  day,  said  the  same  words:  thank  you.    

Why would  you  say  thank  you  when  a  stranger  tells  you  that  your  child   is  going  to  die?  Because  it's  the  truth.  People  say  thank  you  to  that   hard  blessing  because  finally,  despite  all  the  lies  of  our  culture,  it   means  nothing  is  hidden,  or  pretend,  or  made-­‐up  anymore.    

The truth  is  that  we  all  go  down  to  the  dust.  And  that  we  are  loved:  to   the  end,  and  beyond.  We're  not  alone  in  life  or  in  death.  And  when  the   face  of  God's  truth  is  revealed  in  Christ  Jesus,  with  all  its  terrible   suffering  and  beauty,  you  can  only  say  what  our  neighbors  said  on  Ash   Wednesday:  Thank  you.    

Sara Miles  

March 13     Yesterday  at  church,  our  pastor  offered  some  advice  at  the  end  of  the   service  that,  I  thought,  hit  the  nail  on  the  head.  "Don't  focus  on  giving   up  something  for  the  sake  of  giving  something  up,"  he  said.  "Instead,   try  to  add  something  good  to  your  life,  and  only  give  up  what's   necessary  to  add  that  something  good."  Then  he  suggested  reading   through  all  four  gospels  during  LentͶwhich  would  involve  giving  up,   say,  a  few  sitcoms,  or  some  internet  surfing  time,  or  some  morning   news  programs  (which  are,  have  you  noticed,  unbelievably  repetitive   anyway?).    

That advice  silenced  my  inner  cynic.  And  it  helped  me  seize  on  two   things  I  want  to  add  to  my  life  during  Lent.  Yes,  I  want  to  reread  the   four  gospels,  from  beginning  to  end,  as  our  pastor  suggested.  Not  for  a   lecture  or  a  book,  but  simply  for  my  own  inner  nourishment  and   challenge.      

I'm sure  I'll  have  to  subtract  some  things  during  Lent  in  order  to  make   time  and  space  for  these  things  I  want  to  add.  But  it's  the  adding,  not   the  subtracting,  that's  the  point.    

Brian McLaren       Lenten  Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


March 14   For  the  sin  of  silence,   For  the  sin  of  indifference,   For  the  secret  complicity  of  the  neutral,   For  the  closing  of  borders,   For  the  washing  of  hands,   For  the  crime  of  indifference,   For  the  sin  of  silence,   For  the  closing  of  borders.   For  all  that  was  done,   For  all  that  was  not  done,   Let  there  be  no  forgetfulness  before  the  Throne  of   Glory;   Let  there  be  remembrance  within  the  human  heart;   And  let  there  at  last  be  forgiveness   When  your  children,  O  God,   Are  free  and  at  peace.    

Chaim Stern  

March 15   Lent  awakens  spiritual  hope  in  us,  just  as  the  sight  of  the  enemy   awakes  the  spirit  of  an  army.  They  were  lagging  just  now,  tired  with   the  march,  dispirited;  but  a  sudden  signal,  one  turn  in  the  road,  shows   them  the  enemy's  lines  stretching  right  across  their  way.  How  the   men's  hearts  leap  up:  who  is  fagged  now?  So  Lent  awakes  the  energy   of  hope  by  showing  us  our  enemy,  the  reality  of  the  battle  of  life,  of   our  conflict  with  evil.  We  all  know  that  our  fifty  or  seventy  years  in  this   world  were  given  to  us  for  a  great  achievement-­‐-­‐to  conquer  the  world,   the  flesh,  and  the  devil,  to  win  holiness  for  eternity;  but  we  easily   forget  this,  and  slip  out  of  range.  But  Lent  rallies  us,  reminds  us  of  the   seriousness  of  our  moral  life,  of  the  reality  of  sin,  of  bad  tendencies  of   our  childhood  not  conquered  yet,  of  the  strength  of  sins  of  the  flesh,   of  pride  and  temper,  of  love  of  the  world,  of  cowardice  in  confessing   Christ,  of  sloth  and  depression,  of  neglect  of  prayer  and  the   sacraments.  As  we  look  up,  Lent  shows  us  the  way  to  God  and  our   heavenly  country,  and  right  across  that  way,  cutting  off  our  road  to   God  and  holiness,  lies  our  sin.  So  Lent  brings  us  to  face  the  enemy  and   8  

Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

prepare for  battle.  And  hope  is  the  very  soul  of  a  battle:  the  men   intend  to  win  that  position  now  held  by  the  enemy  at  any  cost.  So  in   your  case,  suppose  there  is  sloth,  or  unbelief,  or  ill  will,  or  some  other   vice:  your  Lent  battle  means  your  hope  to  wrest  that  position  from  the   enemy.  That  sin,  that  indifference,  or  bad  temper,  shall  be  conquered   by  God's  help.  There  is  no  evading  the  issue;  that  sin  is  going  to   conquer  me,  and  separate  me  from  God  forever,  or  I  am  going  to   conquer  it.  Lent  means  nothing  if  it  does  not  imply  in  each  of  us  a  very   definite  resolution  to  deal  with  our  besetting  sin.  But  if  that  resolution   of  facing  the  particular  evil  that  holds  us  back  is  made,  then  Lent  will   not  prove  for  us  a  mere  mediaeval  ceremony  gone  through.  No;  in  two   months͛  time  we  shall  be  in  the  middle  of  April.  Will  that  be  nothing?   merely  two  arbitrary  divisions  of  time  passed  through?  Ah!  this  world   will  have  come  to  a  new  life  in  that  short  time;  the  blossom  will  be  on   the  pear  tree  then;  every  field  will  be  aflush  with  tender  green,  every   willow  bush  will  have  its  flower.  So  the  honest  effort  to  repent  more   deeply,  to  conquer  our  chief  sin  by  a  good  Lent,  brings  us  to  our   spiritual  Easter,  a  new  spring  of  the  soul.  And  we  shall  see  the  change;   we  shall  not  be  coming  to  one  more  ceremony  in  our  Easter   Communion:  we  shall  welcome  and  receive  Christ  risen  from  the  dead,   in  His  power  and  beauty,  putting  forth  all  the  energies  of  His  victory  in   our  changed  hearts,  our  self-­‐conquest,  our  humility.    

The journey  of  a  good  Lent  is  a  way  of  hope  from  beginning  to  end,   and  of  advance  in  the  spiritual  life.  The  way  which  has  no  hope  is  the   way  in  which  we  are  satisfied  to  go  on  just  as  we  are,  with  no  spiritual   desire,  caring  nothing  for  the  love  of  God,  nor  for  sin  that  separates  us   from  Him,  with  no  effort  to  arise  and  go  to  our  Father  Christ.  But  the   least  effort  to  keep  Lent  means  a  spiritual  movement  in  the  soul   towards  God,  an  interior  working  of  the  Holy  Spirit  in  the  soul.  A   schoolboy,  suppose,  makes  a  resolution  on  Ash  Wednesday  to  fight   some  sin,  some  cowardice,  laziness,  untruthfulness,  impurity,  for  the   love  of  Christ:  here  is  already  an  energy  of  the  new  life,  a  fresh   springing  of  grace  in  the  lad.  It  is  not  good  merely  because  it  might   possibly  lead  to  a  noble  change  and  a  loftier  life  some  future  day,  it   might  lead  some  time  or  other  to  his  becoming  spiritually  alive:  it   means  much  more  than  that,  it  means  that  by  the  grace  of  God  he  is   spiritually  alive  already,  and  that  the  kingdom  of  heaven  begins  to   grow  in  him.    

Father George  Congreve      

Lenten Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


March 16  

Second Sunday  in  Lent   Genesis  12:1-­‐4a   Psalm  121   Romans  4:1-­‐5;13-­‐17   John  3:1-­‐17  

March 17   For  me,  Lent  is  always  a  little  exercise  in  failure.    

KŶůLJĂǁĞĞŬŝŶ͕ĂŶĚƚŚŝƐLJĞĂƌ/͛ǀĞĂůƌĞĂĚLJŵŝƐƐĞĚĂĚĂLJŽƌƚǁŽŽĨŵLJ intended Lenten  practice.  Exasperated  about  my  recent  failure,  I   began  to  wonder  if,  perhaps,  this  annual  experience  of  falling  short  is   exactly  as  it  should  be.    

Maybe the  real  work  of  Lent  is  not  succeeding  with  flying  colors  at   whatever  Lenten  habit  you  decide  to  take  on,  but  instead  gaining  a   concentrated  experience  of  personal  failure  covered  with  an   ĂƐƐƵƌĂŶĐĞŽĨ'ŽĚ͛ƐĨŽƌŐŝǀĞŶĞƐƐĂŶĚůŽǀĞ͘    

Perhaps the  season  of  Lent  is  like  a  life  laboratory,  a  close-­‐up   experience  of  intending  to  live  life  one  way  and  falling  short  -­‐-­‐  a  time   when  we  can  experience  failure  and  forgiveness  in  small  ways  and   maybe  even  remember  that  the  grace  we  experience  in  the  small   things  is  there  for  the  big  ones,  too.    

After all,  every  one  of  us  experiences  failure  in  life  -­‐-­‐  even  those  of  us   who  seem  especially  holy.  Often  those  failures  are  more  serious  than   giving  in  and  raiding  the  candy  jar.    

In this  awareness,  I  am  living  Lent  this  year  as  a  small-­‐scale  reminder   ƚŚĂƚ'ŽĚ͛ƐĨŽƌŐŝǀĞŶĞƐƐĂŶĚŐƌĂĐĞĂƌĞŽĨĨĞƌĞĚĨƌĞĞůLJŝŶĂůůƚŚĞŵĂŶLJ ways  I  fail,  big  or  small.    

So, perhaps  this  year,  rather  than  living  a  totally  pure  and  chocolate-­‐ ůĞƐƐ>ĞŶƚ͕ƚŚĞƌĞĂůǁŽƌŬĨŽƌƵƐĂůůŝƐƌĞŵĞŵďĞƌŝŶŐ'ŽĚ͛ƐŐƌĂĐĞĂŶĚ forgiveness  for  the  whole  of  life,  even,  and  most  especially,  in  the  big   failures  for  which  we  can  never  seem  to  forgive  ourselves.    


Amy Butler    


Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

March 18     The  great  religious  faith  traditions  ask  their  followers,  at  some  point   during  the  year,  to  step-­‐out  of  their  daily  routines  and  orient   themselves  toward  something  greater.    To  demonstrate  that  they   mean  it  and  are  100%  committed  to  the  exercise,  these  followers  are   asked  to  sacrifice  somethingͶin  other  words,  to  give  up  something   they  value,  like  a  cow,  or  money,  or  food.  The  act  of  having  given  up   something  serves  as  a  prod  of  sorts,  a  powerful  reminder  (lest  one   ƐůĂĐŬŽĨĨͿƚŽƌĞĨůĞĐƚŽŶŽŶĞ͛ƐƌĞůĂƚŝŽŶƐŚŝƉǁŝƚŚƚŚĞĚŝǀŝŶĞ͘    This  giving-­‐ up  takes  place  in  community  so  that  one  gets  swept  up  in  a  great  shift   of  life-­‐as-­‐usual.  The  new  normal  is  a  common  life  focused  on  God.     Whether  one  is  taking  part  in  the  one-­‐day  fast  of  Yom  Kippur  or  the   month-­‐long  fast  of  Ramadan  or  the  surrendering  of  something  of   ŽŶĞ͛ƐĐhoosing  for  the  forty  days  of  Lent,  the  giving-­‐up  has  a  definite   time-­‐table  with  well-­‐advertised  and  ritually-­‐marked  start  and  end   dates.      

ƵƚǁŚĂƚĂďŽƵƚƚŚŽƐĞǁŚŽĂƌĞŶ͛ƚĨŽůůŽǁĞƌƐŽĨƐƵĐŚƚƌĂĚŝƚŝŽŶƐďƵƚǁĂŶƚ to engage  in  a  similar  kind  of  spiritual  exercise  (exercise  in  the  sense  of   an  intentional  and  disciplined  activity)?  Yow!  dŚĂƚ͛ƐŚĂƌĚĞƌ͘  After  all,   LJŽƵ͛ůůŐŝǀĞƵƉƐŽŵĞƚŚŝŶŐǁŝƚŚŽƵƚĂŶLJŬŝŶĚŽĨĐŽŵŵƵŶĂůŽƌƌŝƚƵĂůŚĞůƉ͘   dŚĂƚ͛ƐůŝŬĞĚĞĐŝĚŝŶŐƚŽŐŝǀĞƵƉĐŝŐĂƌĞƚƚĞƐǁŝƚŚŽƵƚĂƐƵƉƉŽƌƚŐƌŽƵƉĂŶĚ without  nicotine  patches.  Still,  for  those  who  are  up  to  the  challenge,   it  could  be  even  more  rewarding.      

^ŽůĞƚ͛ƐĚĂƌĞƚŽŐŝǀĞƵƉƐŽŵĞƚŚŝŶŐĨŽƌ>ĞŶƚ͘ How  about  Me-­‐Centrism?   Give  up  Me-­‐Centrism  until  April  12,  and  orient  yourself  toward  God.   The  phenomenologist  and  ethicist,  Emmanuel  Levinas,  taught  that  we   might,  in  the  act  of  treating  others  as  human  beings  instead  of  objects,   discover  a  passageway  to  the  extraordinary,  the  infinite,  the   transcendent.  No  promises  though.  ,ŽƉĞĨƵůůLJ͕ĞǀĞŶŝĨLJŽƵĚŽŶ͛ƚĨŝŶĚ that  passageway,  the  gift  of  a  simple  human  interaction  is  gift  enough.   And  should  the  checkout  clerk  or  the  passenger  on  the  bus  respond  to   your  friendly  gaze  by  looking  ĂƚLJŽƵůŝŬĞLJŽƵ͛ƌĞĐƌĂnjLJ͕ŽƌůŽŽŬŝŶŐƉĂƐƚ LJŽƵůŝŬĞLJŽƵĚŽŶ͛ƚĞdžŝƐƚͶǁĞůů͕LJŽƵ͛ůůŬŶŽǁLJŽƵĚŝd  your  part.  And  no   one  can  ask  more  than  that.    

Annette Aronowicz  


Lenten Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


March 19   Church  is  actually  a  place  for  people  to  experience  we.  You  can   ĞdžƉĞƌŝĞŶĐĞǁĞŝŶƚŚĂƚĨĂƐĐŝƐƚĂƐƐĞŵďůLJǁĂLJŝŶǁŚŝĐŚǁĞ͛ƌĞĂůůƐƚĂŶĚŝŶŐ and  reciting  prayers  in  unison  and  blaming  the  Jews  for  everything   that  went  wrong.  But  there  are  other  ways  of  experiencing  we  that   actually  come  from  looking  at  the  traditions,  participating  in  them.   And  fighting  against  the  individual  consumer  model  of  everythingͶ actually  submitting  to  being  part  of  a  body,  and  focusing  your  life   together  on  work.  Real  work,  as  opposed  to  simply  replicating  church.    

/ũƵƐƚƚŚŝŶŬƚŚĂƚ͛ƐƚŚĞŐreatest thing.  I  need  to  be  knocked  around  in   ƚŚĞŐƌĞĂƚƌŽĐŬƚƵŵďůĞƌŽĨƚŚĞĐŚƵƌĐŚǁŝƚŚƉĞŽƉůĞ/ĚŝĚŶ͛ƚĐŚŽŽƐĞͶ ďĞĐĂƵƐĞůĞĨƚƚŽŵLJŽǁŶĚĞǀŝĐĞƐ/͛ŵŐŽŶŶĂĐŚŽŽƐĞƉĞŽƉůĞůŝŬĞŵĞ͘ŶĚ that  is  not  how  Christianity  works.  Christianity  puts  you  together  with   all  hƵŵĂŶŝƚLJ͘/ƚ͛ƐŶŽƚĂďŽƵƚLJŽƵƌĐŚŽŝĐĞ͘/ƚ͛ƐĂďŽƵƚ͞ƚŚŝƐƉĞƌƐŽŶŝƐƉĂƌƚ ŽĨƚŚĞďŽĚLJƚŽŽ͕͟ĂŶĚƚŚĂƚ/ĐĂŶ͛ƚĂĐƚƵĂůůLJƵŶĚĞƌƐƚĂŶĚŵLJƐĞůĨǁŝƚŚŽƵƚ understanding  my  relationship  to  you.    

ŐĂŝŶ͕ŝƚ͛ƐĂƌĞůŝŐŝŽŶŽĨƌĞůĂƚŝŽŶƐŚŝƉ͘ŶĚLJŽƵĚŽŶ͛ƚŐĞƚƚŽƉŝĐŬǁŚĂƚƚŚĞ edges of  that  are.    

Sara Miles  

March 20   /ǁĂŶƚƚŽĚŽǁŚĂƚ͛ƐƌŝŐŚƚĂŶĚ/ǁĂŶƚƚŽďĞůŝĞǀĞǁŚĂƚ͛ƐƚƌƵĞĂŶĚ/ǁĂŶƚ ƚŽĂǀŽŝĚǁŚĂƚ͛ƐǁƌŽŶŐĂŶĚ/ǁĂŶƚƚŽĚŝƐďĞůŝĞǀĞǁŚĂƚ͛ƐĨĂůƐĞ͘ƵƚƚŚĞ issue  is  all  of  us  are  engaged  in  processes  of  interpretation  when  it   comes  to  those  matters.  Some  people  seem  to  believe  that  all  of  those   interpretations  are  easy  and  clear,  that  their  church  or  denomination   ŚĂƐŶĂŝůĞĚƚŚĞŵĚŽǁŶŽƌĨŝŐƵƌĞĚƚŚĞŵŽƵƚ͘ŶĚ/ũƵƐƚĚŽŶ͛ƚƚŚŝŶŬŝƚ͛Ɛ ƚŚĂƚƐŝŵƉůĞ͘/ƚŚŝŶŬǁĞ͛ƌĞŝŶĂĐŽŶƐƚĂŶƚƐƚƌƵŐŐůĞƚŽ  understand  the   truths  more  deeply  and  we  have  to  be  involved  in  ongoing,  unending   repentance  where  we  are  willing  to  say  the  things  that  we  felt  were   true  maybe  were  only  partially  so,  so  we  have  more  to  learn.  That  to   me  is  part  of  what  being  a  disciple  is.  A  disciple  is  a  person  who  turns   their  heart  to  Christ  and  seeks  to  be  led  by  the  spirit  of  God.  Like  Jesus   ƐĂŝĚ͕ƚŚĞƌĞ͛ƐĂůǁĂLJƐƚƌƵƚŚƚŚĂƚǁĞĐĂŶŶŽƚďĞĂƌĂŶĚƐŽǁĞŶĞĞĚƚŽ remain  open  to  the  spirit  to  keep  guiding  us  into  the  truth  as  we  can   bear  it.    

Brian McLaren   12  

Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

March 21   tĞũŽƵƌŶĞLJǁŝƚŚ:ĞƐƵƐƚŚƌŽƵŐŚƚŚĞĚĞƐĞƌƚŽĨ>ĞŶƚďƵƚŝƚ͛ƐĂůŵŽƐƚĂƐ though  we  have  to  clear  through  a  whole  lot  of  brush  to  even  get  to   desert.  Lent  is  about  hacking  through  self-­‐delusion  and  false  promises.   Lent  is  about  looking  at  our  lives  in  as  bright  a  light  as  possible,  the   light  of  Christ,  to  illumine  that  which  moth  and  rust  can  consume  and   which  thieves  can  steal.    It  is  during  this  time  of  self-­‐reflection  and   sacrificial  giving  and  prayer  that  we  make  our  way  through  the  over   grown  and  tangled  mess  of  our  lives.  We  trudge  through  the  lies  of  our   death-­‐denying  culture  to  seek  the  simple  weighty  truth  of  who  we   really  are.    

This is  not  a  season  of  taking  up  self-­‐denial;  ŝƚ͛ƐĂƐĞĂƐŽŶŽĨ relinquishment.  We  let  go  of  all  the  pretenses  and  destructive   independence  from  God.  We  let  go  of  defending  ourselves.  We  let  go   of  our  indulgent  self-­‐loathing.    Like  the  prodigal  son  we  then  begin  to   see  a  loving  God  running  with  abandon  to  welcome  us  home.  But  we   ĐĂŶ͛ƚďĞŐŝŶƚŽƐĞĞƚŚŝƐ'ŽĚƵntil  we  turn  from  our  arrogance  and   certainty  and  cynicism  and  ambivalence.  The  Psalmist  says  that  God   delights  in  the  truth  that  is  deep  in  us.  dŚĞƚƌƵƚŚ͘'ŽĚĚŽĞƐŶ͛ƚĚĞůŝŐŚƚ in  the  purity  of  our  doctrine  or  the  perfection  of  our  piety.  God   delights  in  the  truth  and  wisdom  underneath  all  the  overgrowth  of   despair  and  false  pride.  dŚĞƌĞĨŽƌĞƚŚĞƌĞ͛ƐŶŽƐŚĂŵĞŝŶƚŚĞƚƌƵƚŚŽĨ who  we  are;  the  broken  and  blessed  beloved  of  God.  dŚĞƌĞ͛ƐŶŽ shame  in  the  truth  that  our  lives  on  earth  will  all  end  and  that  we  are   in  bondage  to  sin  and  cannot  free  ourselves.  /ƚ͛ƐŶŽƚĚĞƉƌĞƐƐŝŶŐ͘   tŚĂƚ͛ƐĚĞƉƌĞƐƐŝŶŐŝƐƚŚĞĚĞƐƉĞƌĂƚŝŽŶŽĨƚƌLJŝŶŐƚŽƉƌĞƚĞŶĚŽƚŚĞƌǁŝƐĞ͘   tŚĂƚ͛ƐĚĞƉƌĞƐƐŝŶŐŝƐƚŽŝŶƐŝƐƚƚŚĂƚ/ĐĂŶĨƌĞĞŵLJƐĞůĨ/ũƵƐƚŚĂǀĞŶ͛ƚ managed  to  pull  it  off  yet.  What  is  so  wonderful  about  Ash  Wednesday   and  Lent  is  that  through  being  marked  with  the  cross  and  reminded  of   our  own  mortality  we  are  free.  We  are  free  to  hear  the  song  of  our   own  salvation  which  tells  of  Christ  who  offers  life  and  forgiveness.  This   song  sings  of  a  God  who  creates  clean  hearts  and  renews  our  spirits.    

Nadia Bolz  Webber  

March 22   The  season  of  Lent  began  with  Ash  Wednesday,  and  many  Christians   were  encouraged  to  ponder  the  reality  of  death,  the  shortness  and   fragility  of  life,  and  our  need  to  come  to  ourselves  and  to  God  before  it   Lenten  Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


is too  late.  A  smudge  of  ash  on  the  forehead  reminded  us,  each  time   ǁĞůŽŽŬĞĚŝŶƚŚĞŵŝƌƌŽƌ͕ŽĨďŝŐƌĞĂůŝƚŝĞƐƚŚĂƚŝƚ͛ƐǀĞƌLJĞĂƐLJƚŽŬĞĞƉĂƚ bay  most  of  the  time.    

The ash,  for  those  who  received  it,  has  long  since  been  washed  away,   but  hopefully  the  reflection  to  which  it  is  bound  will  continue  through   LeŶƚ͘/Ĩ>ĞŶƚŵĂƌŬƐĂŶŝŶƚĞƌƐĞĐƚŝŽŶŽĨĨĂŝƚŚ͕ĚĞĂƚŚ͕ĂŶĚƐŝŶ͕ƚŚĞŶŝƚ͛ƐĂ good  season  to  think  about  what  I  call  in  my  new  book  The  Pluralism   YƵĞƐƚŝŽŶ͕ďĞĐĂƵƐĞǁĞ͛ƌĞĂůůŬĞĞŶůLJĂǁĂƌĞůĂƚĞůLJƚŚĂƚƌĞůŝŐŝŽŶŝƚƐĞůĨĐĂŶ become  a  force  for  death  and  an  excuse  for  some  of  the  most  terrible   ŬŝŶĚƐŽĨƐŝŶ͘tŚĞƚŚĞƌŝƚ͛Ɛ/ƐůĂŵŝƐƚƐƵŝĐŝĚĞďŽŵďĞƌƐŝŶƚŚĞƉƌĞƐĞŶƚŽƌ ŚƌŝƐƚŝĂŶŝƐƚĐƌƵƐĂĚĞƌƐŝŶƚŚĞƉĂƐƚ͕ǁŚĞƚŚĞƌŝƚ͛ƐŵŝůůŝŽŶƐŽĨ:ĞǁŝƐŚ people  being  exterminated  in  twentieth-­‐century  European  history  or   millions  of  Native  Peoples  in  the  history  of  the  Americas,  the  name  of   God  has  been  a  convenient  excuse  for  people  in  all  religions  to  kill   ƉĞŽƉůĞǁŚŽĂƌĞƌĞůŝŐŝŽƵƐůLJ͞ŽƚŚĞƌ͘͟    

We are  all  creations  of  the  same  Creator.  We  are  all  fragile  human   beings  who  are  someday  going  to  die.  And  we  are  all  sinners  ʹ  we   have  all  fallen  short  of  what  we  could  have  been,  should  have  been,   might  have  been.  Does  it  befit  fragile,  mortal,  fallible  human  beings   like  us,  temporarily  tattooed  with  ash  on  our  foreheads,  to  play  gods   in  passing  heartless  judgment  on  the  other?  Does  it  befit  people  with   ash  on  our  own  faces  to  refuse  to  see  in  the  face  of  the  other  ʹ   including  the  religiously  other,  the  stranger,  and  even  the  enemy  ʹ  the   indelible  mark  of  the  image  of  God?  Can  we,  for  a  moment  during   Lent,  ƐĞĞŶŽƚ͞ƵƐ͟ĂŶĚ͞ŽƚŚĞƌ͕͟ďƵƚŽŶĞĂŶŽƚŚĞƌ͍    

Brian McLaren  

March 23      

Third Sunday  in  Lent   Exodus  17:1-­‐7   Psalm  95   Romans  5:1-­‐11   John  4:5-­‐22  


Calvary  Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

March 24   During  Lent,  Christians  around  the  world  enter  into  a  time  of  fasting,   beginning  on  this  day  with  the  imposition  of  the  ashes.  These  ashes   symbolize  the  old  Near  Eastern  practice  of  mourning  in  sackcloth  and   ashes.  To  some,  this  may  seem  an  odd  tradition  for  Christians  to   practice.  We  have  been  forgiven,  washed  of  our  sins  and  given  the   guarantee  of  the  Resurrection.    

Yet, this  season  exists  for  a  reason.  Again,  sin  is  not  to  be  understood   in  a  legal  sense.  Sin  is  degeneracy.  And  though  in  our  spirits  (our   eternal  nature)  we  are  made  new,  yet  still  we  live  in  the  flesh  (our   corruptible  nature).  Because  of  this,  we  enter  Lent  as  a  time  of   mourning.  We  memorialize  those  who  went  before  Christ,  who  lived  in   a  time  before  He  was  raised  from  the  dead,  we  remember  our  own   lives  apart  from  God,  we  bewail  that  we  are  still  yet  living  this  side  of   the  Resurrection.    

There is  another  purpose  too,  for  though  we  are  still  in  the  Flesh,  the   Spirit  is  in  us  and  we  can  grow.  We  will  never  attain  perfection  before   we  are  made  whole,  but  we  can  work  to  make  ourselves  and  our   world  more  like  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven.  One  day,  Heaven  shall  be   wedded  to  Earth,  and  the  Kingdom  work  done  in  the  here  and  now   shall  endure.  As  we  fast  during  Lent,  one  of  the  things  we  do  is   discipline  ourselves.  We  train  ourselves  in  temperance  and  charity  by   fasting  and  reminding  ourselves  of  our  own  faults.  By  God's  grace,  this   work  helps  to  transform  our  lives  for  the  better,  then  we  might  be  a   blessing  unto  others.  And  all  along,  as  we  fast,  we  pray,  and  God   answers.    

Kevin (Internet  Blogger)    

March 25   Recently  I  found  myself  far  from  New  York  City  on  the  Olympic   Peninsula  in  Washington  State.  For  the  better  part  of  an  hour,  I  sat  on   one  of  those  fabulous  rocky  beaches  staring  at  a  tidal  pool.  I  had  to.   We  don't  have  tidal  pools  on  the  East  Coast.  Jelly  fish,  sharks  and  "no-­‐ see-­‐ums,"  but  not  tidal  pools.      

There's beautiful  sea  life  in  these  pools:  starfish,  barnacles,  sea   anemones.  There's  also  a  lot  of  drama  -­‐  not  unlike  human  drama.    

Lenten Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


For example,  in  the  middle  of  the  pool  were  two  tiny  crabs  having  a   knock-­‐down-­‐drag-­‐out  fight  over  some  raggedy  piece  of  seaweed.  Since   there  were  limited  treats  in  this  tiny  pool,  the  seaweed  was  a  special   find.    

After a  few  more  minutes  of  observing  this  little  pool  and  thinking  how   beautifully  philosophic  it  all  was,  a  wave  broke  over  the  rocks  and   poured  water  into  the  pool  and  all  over  me.      

The tide  had  turned,  bringing  all  nature  of  gifts.        

I looked  down  in  the  little  pool  and  sure  enough  the  wave  had  brought   in  more  seaweed  and  the  crabs  had  quit  fighting.      

The minnows  had  been  washed  back  to  sea,  finding  their  way  home.      

And the  hermit  crab  now  had  two  new  friends.    

I walked  back  and  sat  on  the  beach  and  watched  as  the  tide  slowly   came  in,  eventually  covering  the  whole  area.  In  the  end,  what  had   seemed  to  be  hundreds  of  separate  little  tidal  pools  had  been  covered   and  joined  in  one  big  sea  of  life.        

Humans are  no  different.  We  all  get  caught  up  in  our  own  little  tidal   pools;  tidal  pools  of  anger,  confusion,  or  loneliness.  But  we  have  to   remember,  like  that  long  stretch  of  rocky  beach,  ours  isn't  the  only   tidal  pool  in  town.      

No matter  where  you  find  yourself,  whether  angry,  lost,  or  alone,   there  are  others  like  you  out  there;  others  who  walk  the  same  path,   others  who  suffer,  others  who  know  our  pain.  We  are  joined  in  one  big   sea  of  life.  Yet  when  all  seems  hopeless,  when  all  appears  to  be  gone,   remember  the  tide  will  turn  and  life  abundant,  like  the  sea,  will  flood   back  into  our  lives.    

Susan Sparks  

March 26     To  Keep  a  True  Lent   Is  this  a  Fast,  to  keep   The  Larder  lean?   And  clean   16  

Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

From fat  of  veals  and  sheep?   Is  it  to  quit  the  dish   Of  flesh,yet  still   To  fill   The  platter  high  with  fish?   Is  it  to  fast  an  hour,   KƌƌĂŐŐ͛ĚŐŽ͕   Or  show   A  downcast  look  and  sour?   EŽ͗͛ƚŝƐĂ&ĂƐƚƚŽĚŽůĞ   Thy  sheaf  of  wheat   And  meat   Unto  the  hungry  soul.   It  is  to  fast  from  strife   And  old  debate,   And  hate;   To  circumcise  thy  life.   To  show  a  heart  grief-­‐rent;   To  starve  thy  sin,   Not  bin;   ŶĚƚŚĂƚ͛ƐƚŽŬĞĞƉƚŚLJ>ĞŶƚ    

Robert Herrick  

March 27   Before  I  went  to  Westboro  [Baptist  Church],  I  expected  that  its   members  would  take  every  opportunity  to  remind  me  [that  I  was   going  to  hell],  not  only  because  I'm  gay  but  also  because  they  now   believe  that  they  are  the  only  true  Christians  left  on  earth.  But  in  my   four  days  in  Kansas,  nobody  ever  asks  me  about  my  sexuality.  Nobody   says  a  word  about  my  salvation,  except  for  Jon,  who  at  one  point   generically  and  somewhat  blandly  says,  'We  have  to  tell  you  you're   going  to  hell.'    

The closest  we  come  to  discussing  my  faith  and  my  fate  is  as  we're   leaving  Fred  Phelps's  office.  Steve  Drain  is  walking  us  back  to  his   house.  'You're  searching  for  something,  aren't  you?'  he  says  gently.  I   am,  of  courseͶthis  journey  is  about  finding  God,  but  it's  also  about   finding  a  churchͶbut  I  don't  respond.  He  glances  at  me.  'Well,  I  really   hope  you  find  what  you're  looking  for.'   Lenten  Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


Steve says  this  so  sweetly  that,  for  as  many  seconds  as  it  takes  for  the   words  to  form  in  my  mind,  I  think,  What  if  they're  right?  Maybe   they're  right.  Damn!  But  just  as  quickly,  I  know  this  in  my  heart:  Their   god  is  not  my  god,  and  their  faith  is  not  my  faith,  and  there  can  be  no   middle  ground.  My  logic  is  unacceptable  to  them-­‐-­‐nothing  more  than   the  devil's  lies-­‐-­‐just  as  their  logic  makes  no  sense  to  me.  My  heart  and   my  head  cannot  accept  a  god  so  cruel  as  theirs,  so  cavalier  that  he   would  create  people  just  to  destroy  them.  And  I  cannot  believe  in  a   fear-­‐based  faith.  I  don't  want  to  be  scared  into  belief.  I  don't  want  to   be  frightened  into  submission.    

The wonderful  film  You  Can  Count  on  Me  chronicles  a  period  in  the   relationship  between  a  sister  and  a  brother,  played  by  Laura  Linney   and  Mark  Ruffalo,  as  thy  grapple  with  sibling  stuff.  It  uses  no  huge  set   pieces,  no  big  action  scenes.  Instead  it  finds  its  power  in  small,   intimate  moments,  which  collectively  offer  one  of  the  truest   depictions  of  real  life  in  recent  cinema.  Linney  plays  Sammy,  the   churchy,  stable  sibling;  Ruffalo  is  Terry,  the  peripatetic  one.  At  one   point,  Sammy  asks  her  pastor,  Ron,  to  sit  down  with  them  for  a  talk.    

In a  rare  moment  of  clarity,  Terry  answers  a  question  that  Ron  has   posed  about  whether  his  life  is  important  andͶby  extensionͶabout   the  nature  of  his  faith.  'I  don't  know:  A  lot  of  what  you're  saying  has  a   real  appeal  to  me,  Ron,'  Terry  says.  'A  lot  of  the  stuff  they  told  us   when  we  were  kids...  But  I  don't  want  to  believe  something  or  not   believe  it  because  I  might  feel  bad.  I  want  to  believe  it  because  I  think   it's  true.'    

He could  have  been  speaking  for  me."      

Jeff Chu,  from  Does  Jesus  Really  Love  Me?  

March 28   You  manifested  humility,  O  Christ,   as  the  way  of  genuine  nobility   by  emptying  Yourself  and  taking  the  form  of  a  slave.   You  did  not  hear  the  self-­‐praising  prayers  of  the  Pharisee,   but  you  received  the  broken  sighs  of  the  publican  as  a  blameless   sacrifice.   Therefore  I  cry  out  to  you:   18  

Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

"Have mercy  on  me,  O  God,  have  mercy  on  me,   and  save  me,  O  Savior."    

Thomas Hopko;  

March 29   Silence.    

Why? Would  it  hurt  God  to  let  me  in  on  what's  going  on  in  my  life?  It   only  seems  fair,  since  I  am,  after  all,  the  one  who's  living  it.  Perhaps  it   would  be  easier  if  it  made  some  sense  to  me.    

I think  these  "wilderness"  experiences  are  common  to  our  lives.  I  don't   pretend  to  understand  the  reason  for  them,  though  I  have  some  ideas.   But  they  are  a  given:  It's  a  matter  of  when  they  come,  not  if,  for   anyone  who  is  serious  about  knowing  and  serving  this  God.  And  the   big  question  is,  what  do  we  do  when  we  find  ourselves  out  there,   alone,  and  with  no  sign  of  God?    

I grew  up  in  Colorado  and  spent  many  days  wandering  the  mountains,   sometimes  without  seeing  another  person  or  sign  of  civilization.  And  I   learned  some  fundamental  rules  of  survival.  One  is,  when  I  don't  know   where  I  am,  stop.  Don't  go  anywhere,  don't  panic,  but  sit  and  wait   calmly,  thinking  carefully  about  the  situation.  Rushed,  panicky  actions   result  in  dead  people.    

The spiritual  wilderness  is  no  different.  When  life  is  confusing,  don't   run.  Stop.  Wait.    

As I  consider  my  situation  in  the  mountains,  I  review  what  I  know   about  both  mountains  and  myself.  Turns  out,  I  know  a  lot,  and  often  I   find  myself  not  as  lost  as  I  thought.    

As I  consider  my  situation  in  the  wilderness,  I  review  what  I  know   about  both  God  and  myself,  and  I  realize  that  I  know  quite  a  lot.    

First, God  has  a  long  history  of  letting  people  wait  without  his  evident   presence.  Second,  God  has  over  the  centuries  said  some  important   things:  that  he  will  never  leave  us,  never  forsake  us,  and  more.  Third,   people  through  history  have  written  of  times  in  the  wilderness  as   times  of  deepening  and  growth.  The  wilderness  can  kill  us.  But  it  can   also  focus  us  and  heighten  our  senses.  The  choice  is  ours.  We  can   Lenten  Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


panic and  run  -­‐-­‐  likely  to  our  death  -­‐-­‐  or  we  can  wait  calmly  for  God's   purpose  to  be  complete,  when  we  once  again  move  on,  but  at  a   deeper  and  more  intimate  level.  Fourth,  God  never  really  goes  away.  A   fundamental  principle  of  theology  is  that  God  is  everywhere  present.   He  is  there  with  us,  whether  we  can  sense  his  presence  or  not.  Very   important  to  know.    

A cardinal  principle  then  is  this:  Be  calm.  Be  cool.  Wait  on  God.  He's   there,  and  he  won't  fail.    

So, I  don't  panic.  I  remain  cool.  And  I  let  God  do  his  thing  with  me.   Sometimes  I  don't  like  it,  and  sometimes  it's  difficult.  But  the   alternative  is  unthinkable.  God  is  faithful,  and  can  be  trusted.  Even  in   the  wilderness.    

Larry Baden  

March 30  

Fourth Sunday  in  Lent   1st  Samuel  16:1-­‐13   Psalm  23   Ephesians  5:8-­‐14   John  9:1-­‐41  

March 31   Is  not  this  the  kind  of  fasting  I  have  chosen:   to  loose  the  chains  of  injustice      and  untie  the  cords  of  the  yoke,   to  set  the  oppressed  free      and  break  every  yoke?   Is  it  not  to  share  your  food  with  the  hungry      and  to  provide  the  poor  wanderer  with  shelterͶ   when  you  see  the  naked,  to  clothe  him,      and  not  to  turn  away  from  your  own  flesh  and  blood?   Then  your  light  will  break  forth  like  the  dawn,      and  your  healing  will  quickly  appear;   then  your  righteousness  will  go  before  you,      and  the  glory  of  the  Lord  will  be  your  rear  guard.   20  

Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

Then you  will  call,  and  the  Lord  will  answer;      you  will  cry  for  help,  and  he  will  say:  Here  I  am.    Isaiah  58:6ʹ9  (NIV)  

April 1   Jesus  enjoins  his  disciples  to  participate  in  God's  work.  Then  he  takes   the  bread  and  give  thanks  to  God,  to  show  them  that  the  bread   doesn't  belong  to  them.  Like  everything  we  have,  he  says,  bread   comes  from  God,  and  your  job  is  just  to  break  it  up  and  give  it  away.   Give  it  to  the  wrong  people,  to  the  ones  who  haven't  washed  their   hands  correctly,  to  the  latecomers  and  the  women,  to  anyone  who's   hungry....  We'll  stay  hungry  if  we  eat  alone.  We'll  be  lonely  if  we  think   we  can  only  share  fellowship  with  the  right  people.  We'll  starve  if  we   believe  that  a  community  is  a  supernatural  kind  of  miracle,  or  a   product  we  can  buy  -­‐-­‐  not  something  we  create  by  offering  ourselves   recklessly  to  others.    

On a  Soup  Kitchen  day  in  Lent  (from  Sara  Miles'  book  "Jesus  Freak")  

April 2   No  man  knows  how  bad  he  is  till  he  has  tried  very  hard  to  be  good.  A   silly  idea  is  current  that  good  people  do  not  know  what  temptation   means.  This  is  an  obvious  lie.  Only  those  who  try  to  resist  temptation   know  how  strong  it  is.  After  all,  you  find  out  the  strength  of  the   German  army  by  fighting  it,  not  by  giving  in.  A  man  who  gives  in  to   temptation  after  five  minutes  simply  does  not  know  what  it  would   have  been  like  an  hour  later.    

That is  why  bad  people,  in  one  sense,  know  very  little  about  badness.   They  have  lived  a  sheltered  life  by  always  giving  in.  We  never  find  out   the  strength  of  the  evil  impulse  inside  us  until  we  try  to  fight  it.    

C.S. Lewis      

April 3   The  maker  of  man  was  made  man,   That  the  Ruler  of  the  stars  might  suck  at  the  breast;   Lenten  Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


That the  Bread  might  be  hungered;   The  Fountain,  thirst;   The  Light,  sleep;   The  Way,  be  wearied  by  the  journey;   The  Truth,  be  accused  by  false  witnesses;   The  Judge  of  the  living  and  the  dead,  be  judged  by  a  mortal  judge;   The  Chastener,  be  chastised  with  whips;   The  Vine,  be  crowned  with  thorns;   The  Foundation,  be  hung  upon  a  tree;   Strength,  be  made  weak;   Health,  be  wounded;   Life,  die.   To  suffer  these  and  suchlike  things,  undeserved  things,   that  He  might  free  the  undeserving,   for  neither  did  He  deserve  any  evil,   who  for  our  sakes  endured  so  many  evils,   nor  were  we  deserving  of  anything  good,   we  who  through  Him  received  such  good.    

Augustine, from  The  Confessions  

April 4   Lent  2001   The  cosmos  dreams  in  me   while  I  wait  in  stillness,   ready  to  lean  a  little  further   into  the  heart  of  the  Holy.   I,  a  little  blip  of  life,   a  wisp  of  unassuming  love,   a  quickly  passing  breeze,   come  once  more  into  Lent.   No  need  to  sign  me   with  the  black  bleeding  ash   of  palms,  fried  and  baked.  

I know  my  humus  place.   This  Lent  I  will  sail   on  the  graced  wings  of  desire,   yearning  to  go  deeper   to  the  place  where   I  am  one  in  the  One.   Oh,  may  I  go  there  soon,   in  the  same  breath   that  takes  me  to  the  stars   when  the  cosmos  dreams  in   me  

Joyce Rupp;  


Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

April 5   I  love  to  talk  about  sin,  which  makes  little  sense  to  people  who  want   to  label  me  as  a  liberal.  I  think  perhaps  that  actual  liberals  equate   admitting  we  are  sinful  with  having  low  self-­‐esteem.  And  then  the   conservatives  equate  sin  with  immorality  (only  sometimes  do  sin  and   immorality  converge).  So  one  end  of  the  church  tells  us  that  sin  is  an   antiquated  notion  that  only  makes  us  feel  bad  about  ourselves  so  we   should  avoid  mentioning  it  at  all.  While  the  other  end  of  the  church   tells  us  that  sin  is  the  same  as  immorality  and  totally  avoidable  if  you   are  just  a  good  squeaky  clean  Christian.  But  when  sin  is  boiled  down  to   low  self-­‐esteem  and  immorality  then  it  becomes  something  we  can   control  or  limit  in  some  way  rather  than  something  we  are  bondage   to.  The  reality  is  that  I  cannot  free  myself  from  the  bondage  of  self.  I   cannot  keep  from  being  turned  in  on  self.  I  cannot  by  my  own   understanding  or  effort  disentangle  myself  from  my  self-­‐interest  and   ǁŚĞŶ/ƚŚŝŶŬƚŚĂƚ/ĐĂŶ͙/ĂŵƚƌLJŝŶŐƚŽĚŽǁŚĂƚŝƐŽŶůLJ'ŽĚ͛ƐƚŽĚŽ͘    

To me,  there  is  actually  great  hope  in  admitting  my  mortality  and   brokenness  because  then  I  finally  lay  aside  my  sin  management   program  and  allow  God  to  be  God  for  me.  Which  is  all  any  of  us  really   need  when  it  comes  down  to  it.    

Nadia Bolz  Webber  

April 6    

Fifth  Sunday  in  Lent   Ezekial  37:1-­‐14   Psalm  130   Romans  8:6-­‐11   John  11:1-­‐45  

April 7   When  we  give  God  our  will  fully,  little  by  little  he  takes  the  rest,  all  our   faculties,  the  whole  man.  The  conquest  no  longer  rests  with  us,  but   with  God;  it  becomes  his  affair.  As  he  wishes  and  when  he  wishes,  eh   will  take  our  memory,  our  senses,  our  passions,  our  imagination,   intellect,  and  heart,  and  he  does  this  by  the  various  states  through   which  we  have  to  pass,  and  by  the  trials  he  sends  us.  We  must  co-­‐ Lenten  Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


operate with  him  with  our  will  in  each  of  his  loving  assaults,  by  letting   him  take  these  things,  one  by  one.    

Where God  is  at  work,  the  devil  is  not  idle.  When  you  try  over  a  period   to  correct  yourself  on  a  particular  point,  do  not  be  surprised  if  you   have  to  submit  to  violent  temptations  on  that  very  point,  even  to   repeated  falls.  The  important  thing  is  never  to  admit  that  you  are   beaten.  Fight  and  never  give  in,  like  a  good  general.  The  effort,  which   is  part  of  the  battle,  even  when  there  is  nothing  to  show  for  it,  plays   and  enormous  part  in  the  formation  of  the  will.  We  always  emerge   from  the  battle  stronger.    

Dom Augustin  Guillerand  

April 8   Jesus'  story  opens  up  some  marvelous  possibilities  for  amazing  things   to  happen.  When  we  consider  "life  and  death"  we  should  not  focus   solely  on  the  second  part  of  the  phrase.  One  of  the  primary  purposes   of  getting  our  death-­‐hat  on  straight  is  to  claim  the  wonder  of  life,  to   make  us  seize  the  reins,  to  join  the  party,  to  pick  ourselves  up,  dust   ourselves  off  and  start  all  over  again.  We  will  experience  loss  and  we   can  live  again.  We  can  suffer,  and  rejoicing  can  likely  follow.  We  can   watch  things  end  and  expect  new  beginnings.    

Where we  will  end  up  "in  glory"  can  only  be  imagined,  but  life  on   earth  is  at  least  a  mini-­‐waltz  with  death  every  day.  Knowing  about   resurrection  gives  us  a  signpost  to  the  possibility  of  the  new  life  that   we  can  claim  over  and  over  again.    

And Lent,  whether  you  are  a  dyed-­‐in-­‐the-­‐wool  practitioner  or  not,  can   be  a  great  time  to  pay  attention,  to  "go  inside"  and  take  a  look  around,   to  dance  in  a  different  way.    

Phil Porter;  



Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

April 9     In  Praise  of  Self-­‐Deprecation    

The buzzard  has  nothing  to  fault  himself  with.   Scruples  are  alien  to  the  black  panther.   Piranhas  do  not  doubt  the  rightness  of  their  actions.   The  rattlesnake  approves  of  himself  without  reservations.    

The self-­‐critical  jackal  does  not  exist.   The  locust,  alligator,  trichina,  horsefly   live  as  they  live  and  are  glad  of  it.    

The killer  whale's  heart  weighs  one  hundred  kilos   but  in  other  respects  it  is  light.    

There is  nothing  more  animal-­‐like   than  a  clear  conscience   on  the  third  planet  of  the  Sun.    

Wislawa Szymborska,  Polish  Nobel  Prize  Winner  

April 10     The  life  of  a  monk  ought  always  to  be  a  Lenten  observance.  However,   since  such  virtue  is  that  of  few,  we  advise  that  during  these  days  of   Lent  he  guard  his  life  with  all  purity  and  at  the  same  time  wash  away   during  these  holy  days  all  the  shortcomings  of  other  times.  This  will   then  be  worthily  done,  if  we  restrain  ourselves  from  all  vices.  Let  us   devote  ourselves  to  tearful  prayers,  to  reading  and  compunction  of   heart,  and  to  abstinence.    

During these  days,  therefore,  let  us  add  something  to  the  usual   amount  of  our  service,  special  prayers,  abstinence  from  food  and   ĚƌŝŶŬ͕ƚŚĂƚĞĂĐŚŽŶĞŽĨĨĞƌƚŽ'ŽĚ͞ǁŝƚŚƚŚĞũŽLJŽĨƚŚĞ,ŽůLJ'ŚŽƐƚ͟;ϭ Thes  1:6),  of  his  own  accord,  something  above  his  prescribed  measure;   namely,  let  him  withdraw  from  his  body  somewhat  of  food,  drink,   sleep,  speech,  merriment,  and  with  the  gladness  of  spiritual  desire   await  holy  Easter.    

Let each  one,  however,  make  known  to  his  Abbot  what  he  offers  and   let  it  be  done  with  his  approval  and  blessing;  because  what  is  done   without  permission  of  the  spiritual  father  will  be  imputed  to   Lenten  Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


presumption and  vain  glory,  and  not  to  merit.  Therefore,  let  all  be   done  with  the  approval  of  the  Abbot.    

St. Benedict  

April 11   dŚĞĂůůĂĚŽĨDĂƌLJ͛Ɛ^ŽŶ   It  was  in  the  Spring   The  Passover  had  come.   There  was  feasting  in  the  streets  and  joy.   But  an  awful  thing   Happened  in  the  Spring   Men  who  knew  not  what  they  did   <ŝůůĞĚDĂƌLJ͛ƐŽLJ͘   He  was  DĂƌLJ͛Ɛ^ŽŶ͕   And  the  Son  of  God  was  He   Sent  to  bring  the  whole  world  joy.   There  were  some  who  could  not  hear,   And  some  were  filled  with  fear   So  they  built  a  cross   &ŽƌDĂƌLJ͛ƐŽLJ    

Langston Hughes  

April 12     With  tender  look,  and  voice  of  thrilling  grace,   The  SAVIOUR  once  to  His  disciples  said,   "Come  ye  apart  into  a  desert  place.   And  rest  awhile  the  aching  heart  and  head."    

He says  so  still  to  all  who  are  His  own,   To  all  aweary  with  the  world's  sad  strife,   "Come,  spend  with  me  a  little  while  alone,   Leave  the  hot  fever  and  the  fret  of  life.            


Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

"Come from  the  world's  hard  struggle  and  its  din,   Discords  that  pain  the  ear  and  never  cease,   Wild  stormy  passions,  tumults  of  man's  sin,   Which  put  to  shame  the  angel's  song  of  peace.    

"Come, when  perplexed  by  doubt  or  anxious  fear,   And  I  will  make  dark  things  all  clear  and  plain,   Will  shed  the  light  of  hope  on  dull  despair,   And  give  true  peace  where  now  is  only  pain."   C.  D.  Bell  

April 13  

Sixth  Sunday  in  Lent  -­‐  Palm  Sunday   Isaiah  50:1-­‐9a   Psalm  118:1-­‐2;19-­‐29   Matthew  21:1-­‐11   Philippians  2:5-­‐11  

April 14   Am  I  a  stone,  and  not  a  sheep,   That  I  can  stand,  O  Christ,  beneath  Thy  cross,   To  number  drop  by  drop   dŚLJďůŽŽĚ͛ƐƐůŽǁůŽƐƐ͕   And  yet  not  weep?   Not  so  those  women  loved   Who  with  exceeding  grief  lamented  Thee;   Not  so  fallen  Peter  weeping  bitterly;   Not  so  the  thief  was  moved;   Not  so  the  Sun  and  Moon   Which  hid  their  faces  in  a  starless  sky,   A  horror  of  great  darkness  at  broad  noon   I,  only  I.   zĞƚŐŝǀĞŶŽƚŽ͛Ğƌ͕   But  seek  Thy  sheep,  true  Shepherd  of  the  flock;   Greater  than  Moses,  turn  and  look  once  more   And  smite  a  rock.    

Christina Rossetti    

Lenten Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


April 15   Lent  is  a  privileged  liturgical  season  for  reflecting  upon  our  human   nature:  the  fragile  and  vulnerable  nature  of  human  existence  and,   especially,  upon  the  experience  of  evil  (and  good)  in  which  we  live  and   develop  throughout  our  historical  existence,  both  personally  and  in   community.  We  refer  to  the  experience  of  evil  that  is  lived,  evidenced   and  manifested  in  conflicts  (whether  personal,  family,  social,  national,   international,  natural  disasters,  etc.)  and  which,  in  our  Christian   ƚŚĞŽůŽŐLJĂŶĚǁŽƌůĚǀŝĞǁ͕ǁĞŬŶŽǁĂƐ͞ƐŝŶ͕͟ĂƐĐŽŶƚƌĂƐƚĞĚǁŝƚŚŽƚŚĞƌ worldviews  and  theological  systems  in  which  evil  is  called  fault,  guilt,   stain  and  taboo.    

If the  objective  of  the  disciple,  of  the  son,  is  to  become  like  the  Son   (Eph  5.1)  and,  through  Christ,  be  with  Him  and  in  Him,  in  his   ƵŶĚĞƌƐƚĂŶĚŝŶŐĂŶĚĨŽůůŽǁŝŶŐ͕ƚŽďĞŵĂĚĞŝŶ͞ƚŚĞŝŵĂŐĞĂŶĚůŝŬĞŶĞƐƐŽĨ ƚŚĞ&ĂƚŚĞƌ͕͟ƚŚĞŶ>ĞŶƚƌĞŵŝŶĚƐƵƐĂůƐŽŽĨƚŚĞŶĞĞĚƚŽůŝǀĞŝŶĂ permanent  state  of  conversion,  of  a  change  of  life,  of  transforming  our   ůŝĨĞƚŽďĞůŝŬĞŚƌŝƐƚ͛ƐůŝĨĞ͕ĂƐǁĞůůĂƐŽƵƌƉƌŝŶĐŝƉůĞƐ͕ĐƌŝƚĞƌŝĂĂŶĚ attitudes  like  the  criteria  of  the  Gospel.  The  logic  of  the  world  must   ďĞĐŽŵĞ'ŽĚ͛ƐůŽŐŝĐ͕ŽƌƚŚĞǁŝƐĚŽŵŽĨƚŚĞĐƌŽƐƐ͕ƵŶƚŝůǁĞĐĂŶĞdžĐůĂŝŵ witŚWĂƵů͞ǁŚĞƌĞƐŝŶĂďŽƵŶĚĞĚ͕ŐƌĂĐĞĂďŽƵŶĚĞĚĞǀĞŶŵŽƌĞ͟;Zŵ ϱ͘ϮϬͿ͕͞/ŶŽůŽŶŐůŝǀĞ͕ďƵƚŚƌŝƐƚůŝǀĞƐŝŶŵĞ͘͟;'ĂůϮ͘ϮϬͿ͘ŽŶǀĞƌƐŝŽŶ͕ especially  during  the  Lenten  season,  is  equated  in  the  liturgy  with  the   Transfiguration  (Mt  17.1-­‐9),  since  to  be  converted  is  to  be  worthy  to   hear  Ͷas  Jesus  didͶ  ƚŚĞǀŽŝĐĞŽĨƚŚĞ&ĂƚŚĞƌƚŚĂƚƚĞůůƐƵƐ͗͞ƚŚŝƐŝƐŵLJ ^ŽŶ͕ƚŚĞďĞůŽǀĞĚ͕ůŝƐƚĞŶƚŽŚŝŵ͘͟    

Lent, therefore,  reminds  us  of  our  sin,  our  need  for  conversion,  but   ĂďŽǀĞĂůů͕ŝƚƌĞŵŝŶĚƐƵƐŽĨŽƵƌŶĞĞĚƚŽƌĞƚƵƌŶƚŽƚŚĞ&ĂƚŚĞƌ͛ƐŚouse   where  there  awaits  for  us  the  compassionate  and  merciful  embrace  of   the  Father  who  does  not  deal  with  us  as  daily  workers  or  as  servants,   but  as  his  children  (Lk  15).  Thus,  Lent  is  also  a  season  for  joyful   confidence,  for  gratitude,  for  humble  hope  in  'ŽĚ͛ƐĐŽŵƉĂƐƐŝŽŶĂƚĞ love.  Conversion  and  joy,  are  clearly  part  of  the  entire  life  of  the   ĚŝƐĐŝƉůĞ͕ŝŶǀŽůǀŝŶŐƚŚĞŚƌŝƐƚŝĂŶ͛ƐĞŶƚŝƌĞŽďũĞĐƚŝǀĞ͘    

Mario Paredes;  



Calvary  Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

April 16   A  Hymn  to  God  the  Father    

Wilt Thou  forgive  that  sin  where  I  begun,   Which  is  my  sin,  though  it  were  done  before?    

Wilt Thou  forgive  that  sin,  through  which  I  run,   And  do  run  still,  though  still  I  do  deplore?   When  Thou  hast  done,  Thou  hast  not  done,   For  I  have  more.    

Wilt Thou  forgive  that  sin  which  I  have  won   Others  to  sin?  and,  made  my  sin  their  door?   Wilt  Thou  forgive  that  sin  which  I  did  shun   A  year  or  two:  but  wallowed  in,  a  score?   When  Thou  hast  done,  Thou  hast  not  done,   For  I  have  more.    

I have  a  sin  of  fear,  that  when  I  have  spun   My  last  thread,  I  shall  perish  on  the  shore;   Swear  by  Thyself,  that  at  my  death  Thy  Son   Shall  shine  as  He  shines  now,  and  heretofore;   And,  having  done  that,  Thou  hast  done   I  fear  no  more.   John  Donne  

April 17   The  Glory  of  These  Forty  Days     The  glory  of  these  forty  days   We  celebrate  with  songs  of  praise;   For  Christ,  by  Whom  all  things  were  made,   Himself  has  fasted  and  has  prayed.    

Alone and  fasting  Moses  saw   The  loving  God  Who  gave  the  law;   And  to  Elijah,  fasting,  came   The  steeds  and  chariots  of  flame.    

So Daniel  trained  his  mystic  sight,   ĞůŝǀĞƌĞĚĨƌŽŵƚŚĞůŝŽŶƐ͛ŵŝŐŚƚ͖   ŶĚ:ŽŚŶ͕ƚŚĞƌŝĚĞŐƌŽŽŵ͛ƐĨƌŝĞŶĚ͕ďĞĐĂŵĞ   dŚĞŚĞƌĂůĚŽĨDĞƐƐŝĂŚ͛ƐEĂŵĞ͘   Lenten  Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church  


Then grant  us,  Lord,  like  them  to  be   Full  oft  in  fast  and  prayer  with  Thee;   Our  spirits  strengthen  with  Thy  grace,   And  give  us  joy  to  see  Thy  face.    

O Father,  Son,  and  Spirit  blest,   To  thee  be  every  prayer  addressed,   Who  art  in  threefold  Name  adored,   From  age  to  age,  the  only  Lord.    

Pope Gregory  I  (540-­‐604  A.D.)    

April 18   Let  nothing  disturb  thee;   Let  nothing  dismay  thee:   All  thing  pass;   God  never  changes.   Patience  attains   All  that  it  strives  for.   He  who  has  God   Finds  he  lacks  nothing:   God  alone  suffices.    

Teresa of  Avila  

April 19   O  Lord  and  Master  of  my  life,  keep  from  me  the  spirit  of  indifference   and  discouragement,  lust  of  power  and  idle  chatter.   Instead,  grant  to  me,  Your  servant,  the  spirit  of  wholeness  of  being,   humble-­‐mindedness,  patience,  and  love.     O  Lord  and  King,  grant  me  the  grace  to  be  aware  of  my  sins  and  not  to   judge  my  brother;  for  You  are  blessed  now  and  ever  and  forever.   Amen.      

The Prayer  of  St.  Ephrem  the  Syrian      


Calvary Baptist  Church  

Lenten Devotional  2014  

Calvary Baptist  Church   Rev.  Dr.  Amy  Butler,  Senior  Pastor   755  Eighth  Street,  NW      Washington,  DC    20001   202.347.8355                      

Lent Booklet 2014  

Calvary Baptist Church is an ecumenical, multi-racial, multi-ethnic Christian body that reaches out to the world with the Good News of Jesu...

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